Thank you for taking the time to answer all of these questions and for being patient with our anxieties and repetitive questions!
I am 23 years old. About three months ago, seemingly out of nowhere, I had a major erruption of acne on one of my cheeks. I waited several months before seeing my primary care physician, who put me on 200 mg of minocyclin / day and instructed me to apply Differin Gel at night and Benzoyl peroxide during the day. Shortly after going on the Minocyclin, I started to experience severe headaches and insomnia, so I discontinued treatment. I am still using Differin gel. Although the initial cheek eruption seems to have improved somewhat, the acne has "moved" to other areas of my skin, including my forehead, cheeks, and jawline.
Now my doctor has prescribed 800 MG of Erythromycin/day, plus continuation of the Differin Gel. I am nervous because I've heard that this drug can cause heartbeat irregularties. I've suffered from occasional PVCs for about a year now, and am concerned that this medication might be dangerous for me. Also, I had my gallbladder removed two years ago, and I know that this medication affects the liver, too. Do I have reason to be concerned? What are the long-term effects of taking heavy doses of antibiotics? Will I become more susceptible to weird bacterial infections? I hate the acne, but it doesn't seem worth risking my health in toto simply for "cosmetic reasons."
By the way, I am also taking Ortho TriCyclen, which I started taking for birth control, not acne. My doctor has told me to continue taking it.
I had some very mild acne as a teenager--usually just a pimple or two at a time--but nothing like this. As a teenager, my acne would typically clear up completely after a few days on benzoyl peroxide. This acne is really different. All the pimples leave behind bright red pock marks that have stuck around for months now, and some of the blemishes even leave behind tiny tiny holes in my skin. I'm starting to feel anxious that my skin will never be the same. Why would this suddenly happen out of nowhere, and why is the acne so different from the kind I had as a teenager?
Thank you in advance for your kind help.